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Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge): Recycling the Sacred: Material Culture and Cultural Memory after the English Reformation

October 17, 2017, 5:30pm BST - 6:30pm
German Historical Institute London

17 Bloomsbury Square
London WC1A2NJ
United Kingdom

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Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge)
Recycling the Sacred: Material Culture and Cultural Memory after the English Reformation

This paper examines medieval liturgical artefacts that survived the English Reformation by being converted to alternative religious and secular purposes. It explores the underlying theological assumptions that legitimized such acts of ‘recycling’—they offer new insights into how Protestantism reconfigured traditions of commemoration and patterns of remembrance. The paper also considers their role in resisting religious change, in preserving tangible traces of the Catholic past, and in perpetuating and complicating social and cultural memory.

Alexandra Walsham is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Trinity College. She has published widely on the religious and cultural history of early modern Britain. Her recent books include The Reformation of the Landscape: Religion, Identity and Memory in Early Modern Britain and Ireland (2011) and Catholic Reformation in Protestant Britain (2014).

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